Geotagging Photos

Well, I’m disappointed by the way Picasa handles geotagging photos in Linux. It looks like the newest version doesn’t support geotagging. Not only that, but when it resizes images to upload to Picasa on the web, it kills any EXIF information that may have specified a location. What the heck Picasa? Why you gotta clobber my shit?

I can preserve the geotags by uploading directly from my G1 (slow), or by going to the Picasa website and uploading from there (can’t do a batch upload, also can’t resize automatically).

One other problem is the disparity between phone photo quality and my camera’s photo quality. If I’m gonna go out and take some photos of stuff, I want them to look good. My digital camera makes photos look good, my G1 doesn’t. Part of it is that I get figerprints all over the G1 lens, and I’d never do that to my real camera. Part of it is that there’s no flash on the G1 and part of it is the lack of zoom on a G1. No problem… I never expected a phone to take a picture as well as the G1 already does.

So, how do I geotag my digital camera’s photos? I’ll sync my camera time with GPS time before stepping out to shoot, then when I get back it looks like I can use a nifty linux tool called “gpscorrelate-gui”. I haven’t tried it out yet, but it looks like this thing will take timestamp data generated by my phone, compare that to a GPX file generated by “mytracks” running on the G1, then automatically tag the photos with where I was when they were taken.

gpscorrelate-gui is available in Debians standard repositories. mytracks is available in the Android market. It’s built by some geeks at Google, and it works very well. You just start it recording your journey when you leave, it records your position every few seconds, then stop it when you get finished. mytracks can display all kinds of stats for you, too, but the important part for me is that it will export a GPX file.

Now to file a bug report for Picasa. What the heck Google!?! What am I paying you for ;-) It doesn’t seem like it should be hard for them to preserve the GPS EXIF info… They already preserve the timestamp info, it’s probably just several lines of copy-paste code.